30th anniversary for seatbelts


31 January 2013

Seatbelt laws were first put into place thirty years ago but we still face issues with their use. One in five (19%) motorists claim to know someone who doesn’t use a seatbelt in the front of their car.

Today (31 January 2013) will see the anniversary of the introduction of compulsory wearing which came to effect in 1983. Latest figures show 95 per cent of drivers and 96 per cent of front seat passengers wear a seat belt; 89 per cent of rear seat passengers use one.1 Yet every year, not wearing a seatbelt is still a contributory factor in more than 220 deaths and serious injuries.2

A higher number of younger motorists know someone who does not wear a seatbelt compared to the older age group.

  • In the back of the car, 41% of 18-29 year olds know someone who doesn’t wear a seatbelt compared to 25% of 45+ year olds whilst for in the front of the car, 36% of 16-29 year olds know someone compared to 11% of 55+ year olds.
  • Drivers and passengers aged 17-34 have the lowest seat belt wearing rates combined with the highest accident rates.
  • Yet 14 per cent of adults still admit to being inconsistent seat-belt wearers.

IAM chief executive Simon Best said: “In the past three decades seatbelts have made a fantastic contribution to road safety success in Britain helping to save thousands of lives. But the ongoing message needs to be reinforced to all age groups.”

“All the modern technology in a new car assumes the occupant is wearing a seatbelt. Younger drivers know that not wearing a seatbelt is dangerous, but they must still be reminded that no matter where you are sitting in a car, a seatbelt will save your life.”


Notes to editors


  1. 1.All figures are taken from Department for Transport, Think Annual survey 2011: .
  2. 2.Reported Road Casualties in Great Britain: 2011 Annual Report, .
  3. 3.The IAM is the UK’s largest independent road safety charity, dedicated to improving standards and safety in driving, motorcycling andThe commercial division of the IAM operates through its occupational driver training company IAM Drive & Survive. The IAM has more than 200 local volunteer groups and over 100,000 members in the UK and Ireland. It is best known for the advanced driving test and the advanced driving, motorcycling and cycling courses. Its policy and research division offers advice and expertise on road safety.


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